It’s time to lift the restrictions on medical abortion in Australia – Professor Caroline de Costa

The Conversation, April 1, 2019 6.13am AEDT

Over the past thirteen years, many Australian women have used the drug mifepristone (RU486) to bring about a medical abortion.

Rather than undergoing a surgical abortion in a clinic or hospital operating theatre, a medical abortion is induced by taking drugs prescribed by a doctor.

But while mifepristone has been available in Australia since 2006, only some women, in some parts of the country, are able to access it. Professor Caroline de Costa argues in the Medical Journal of Australia that this needs to change.

We need a new definition of pornography – with consent at the centre

The Conversation, March 18, 2019 5.51am AEDT

We all think we know what pornography is, whether we oppose it, use it, or tolerate it. But are we all conjuring up the same images?

Before we began our research on the meaning of pornography in young women’s lives, we wanted to define it. Our review of the literature found no consistently used definition.

It was notable that there was no mention of consent in any of the definitions we reviewed.

More needs to be done for LGBTIQ+ inclusion across Australia, ANZ research shows

ANZ, February 20, 2019

New ANZ research1 shows that almost half a million LGBTIQ+ community members (1 in every 4) in Australia are still not comfortable being their true selves and discussing their sexuality and gender identity with their loved ones or friends.

ANZ commissioned the research to mark its 13 year relationship with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

ANZ’s Group Executive Australia, Mark Hand, who is also Chair of ANZ’s Diversity Council, said: “Being open about your whole identity is something that all Australians should be comfortable doing, and yet our research shows that this is not the case.”

Key research findings:

  • 84% of LGBTIQ+ community members believe there are still parts of Australia where it is unsafe to be LGBTIQ+. And 68% of non- LGBTIQ+ think so too.
  • 68% of Aussies support efforts to improve LGBTIQ+ equality.
  • LGBTIQ+ community members are still twice as likely to experience some form of harassment, discrimination or open prejudice because of their sexual orientation.
  • 52% of LGBTIQ+ community members would not open up about their sexuality with their manager at work.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertising (in)equality: the impacts of sexist advertising on women’s health and wellbeing

Women’s Health Victoria, Issues Paper No. 14, December 2018

 

The aim of this issues paper is to provide an overview of significant literature

currently published on the nature of gender portrayals in advertising, and the

impacts of these representations on women’s health and wellbeing, gender

inequality and attitudes and behaviours that support violence against women.

 

This issues paper found that the continued use of gender stereotypes

and increasing reliance on images that sexualise and objectify women in

advertisements undermines efforts to promote gender equality in Australia.

Gender-stereotyped portrayals limit the aspirations, expectations, interests and

participation of women and men in our society. These portrayals are associated

with a range of negative health and wellbeing outcomes and are highly

problematic for the prevention of family violence and other forms of violence

against women.

 

The studies cited in this paper demonstrate that there is a clear business

case for change. Brands, businesses and creative agencies can benefit from

portraying both women and men proportionately, respectfully and realistically.

 

“I never realised they were so different”: understanding the impact of the labia library

Women’s Health Victoria, October 2018

Recognising that women are increasingly altering their genitalia through cosmetic surgery, WHV developed the Labia Library, a unique online resource that supports positive body image by informing women about the natural diversity in normal female genital appearance.

The Labia Library houses a gallery of 40 unaltered photographs of female genitalia.
This provides viewers with the opportunity to learn about the diversity of normal female
genitalia and make visual comparisons, in a safe and private way. The site also contains information about anatomy, female genital cosmetic surgery, hair removal, media literacy and pornography.

In order to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of the resource in improving
women’s health literacy, a survey with a free text option was promoted on the Labia
Library home page from September 2013 to July 2015

Overall, the vast majority of survey respondents indicated a positive perception
of the resource, often experiencing a significant reduction in anxiety and
reassurance of normality associated with genital appearance.

 

Let’s Recognise The Huge Decline In Teenage Pregnancy, And Try To Understand What’s Driven It

Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Huffington Post UK 

In a new report, Social media, SRE and Sensible Drinking: Understanding the dramatic decline in teenage pregnancy, BPAS set out to explore some of the factors behind the decline in teen pregnancy, talking to teenagers themselves about how they live their lives – and the extent to which lifestyle changes – from lower alcohol consumption to time spent online – have impacted upon teenage pregnancy rates.